If you’re into the performance side of Honda cars (or just JDM car culture in general) then you will have come across the name “Mugen”.
Mugen is synonymous with performance when it comes to Honda cars.
When people sell Honda cars, they will proudly proclaim if there are any Mugen components installed.
But what does Mugen actually mean? And what does the company really do?
In this edition of Car Facts we are going to take a closer look at the history of Mugen, what the company does, as well as what the name means.
We hope you find this interesting! If you have any insight to share (or questions you want answered) feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this article.
Table of Contents
What Is Mugen?
“Mugen Motorsports” (formally called M-TEC Company Limited) is a performance part and engine tuning company that specialises in enhancing the performance of Honda cars.
Mugen produces numerous performance components, body kit parts and more that can be purchased and installed on your Honda car. Sometimes these parts are offered on new Hondas as well, as part of a Mugen upgrade kit.
Mugen also takes part in a number of racing series, entering their tuned/modified Honda cars (for example in the Super GT series).
Mugen has worked on a variety of different modified Honda cars, including the CRZ and NSX (read our comprehensive Honda NSX buyer’s guide here for more information on this legendary car).
At various stages, Mugen has even been involved in Formula One racing – providing modified Honda engines to teams such as Jordan in the late 1990s.
Mugen was founded in the early 1970s, by a man called Hirotoshi Honda. if the last name isn’t a giveaway, Hirotoshi Honda is actually the son of Soichiro Honda, the founder of Honda Motor Company itself. You can learn more about the history of Honda in our guide to the history and generations of the Honda Civic.
While it’s somewhat nepotistic that the son of Honda’s founder went on to start Honda’s ‘external’ performance division, it also makes for a great story and there is no doubt that Mugen has done some great work as well.
There have been Mugen versions/special editions of various Honda cars over the years. The current generation Honda Civic Type R (which will soon be replaced) had a Mugen version but this consisted primarily of aesthetic modifications.
However, there have been some more “hardcore” Mugen cars over the years, like the Mugen Civic RR, which was limited to just 300 examples sold in the Japanese domestic market. This is a proper Mugen car, with substantial modifications and enhancements both visually and under-the-hood:
What Does Mugen Mean – The Proper Translation
Now you know a bit more about what Mugen does, what does the name Mugen actually mean?
In Japanese, Mugen means “infinite” – or more accurately – “without limit” (when translated to English)
Therefore, the name Mugen is meant to invoke connotations of ‘performance without limit’.
Compared to names like STI and NISMO, it’s refreshing to see a “proper” name for a tuning house as opposed to an abbreviation.
The name Mugen and its meaning of ‘without limits’ definitely suits the objectives of the company as well, working hard to lift the limits of performance on Honda cars for the street and the racetrack.
Recap – The Meaning Of Mugen
To recap this edition of Car Facts, Mugen is a tuning/aftermarket parts/motorsport company that specialises in working with Honda vehicles.
Despite being founded by the son of Honda’s own founder, Mugen is not and has never been owned by Honda – it is a standalone company.
Translated from Japanese, Mugen basically means “infinite” or “without limit” and this name is meant to invoke strong connotations of removing the limits on performance.
Across motorsport and “street car culture” Mugen is all about making Hondas go faster and look more interesting – and we are glad of the great work they do.
What do you think about Mugen? Do you have a Honda with Mugen parts? Leave a comment below – we would love to hear from you.